Jerrold Smith II Talks Issa Rae’s Sweet Life: Los Angeles

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‘Sweet Life: Los Angeles’ is back for season two, and our favorite Los Angeles besties have so much more in store. The unscripted series produced by Issa Rae – centered on an ambitious group of 20-year-old black people living in South Los Angeles – returns for another summer premiere on August 4, but a lot has changed for the team since they made their television debut last year.

“What I really love about this show, and Issa for giving us this opportunity, is that it opens up [the door] for so much more.”

Clearly, the cast members – who include Jerrold Smith II, Cheryl Des Vignes, Amanda Scott, Rob Lee, Briana Jones, Rebecca Magett, Tylynn Burns, Jaylenn Hart and P’Jae Compton – are recognized IRL in their hometown. and beyond, but Smith II tells POPSUGAR that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “It was fun. I get a lot of recognition in LA, everywhere,” he says. “We have fans in a bunch of different places. I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks, and since the first season, and it’s just fun to see who’s all watched the show.”

Smith II, who was recommended for “Sweet Life: Los Angeles” by close friend and costar Jordan Bentley, is part of the reason his group of friends were selected for the reality show. “Jordan was hit first, and [then] Jordan suggested me,” he explains. “I had gone through the whole process and then suggested everyone else you see on the show.”

Since the premiere of the first season, a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for the team, especially Smith II, who also works for Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Media company. The 26-year-old is incredibly grateful for the platform Rae has put on him and his friends. “What I really love about this show, and Issa for giving us this opportunity, is that it opens up [the door] for so much more,” Smith II shares. “Especially for me, I work in entertainment like my 9 to 5. So being in front of the camera, as opposed to being in the background, really opened up a lot more [on]-camera opportunities for me.”

“He’s the funniest, most loving, sometimes awkward person I’ve ever met.”

Being under the “Issa Rae umbrella” was a game-changer for the cast of “Sweet Life: Los Angeles.” From attending red carpet premieres of the Hollywood creator’s other projects (including “Insecure” and “Rap Sh!t”) to earning an NAACP Image Award nomination, the team at ” Sweet Life: Los Angeles” enjoys many benefits just by being associated with Rae.

“Some of the cast call her aunt, like we’re her nieces and nephews,” boasts Smith II of Rae. “I like to tell people that she is exactly as she looks on TV, in person. She’s the funniest, most loving and sometimes awkward person I’ve ever met. But she’s literally amazing and has been amazing through this process trying to make sure she puts our wants and needs first and understanding everything that we are going through, [too] . . . I literally don’t know how else to describe it, plus it’s amazing to work with someone like her, who’s from where we’re from, and who shines for our city, in such a way, that it gives us the opportunity to do the same.”

He adds: “Being able to do this in our garden is the best part. I’ve talked about being recognized in other places, but it’s so much fun to walk the streets where I grew up and the people I ‘m so used to seeing be like, ‘Oh, I saw your face on a billboard’… Doing it in your hometown is really the biggest part of that, and Issa puts on and does so much for LA, it makes it even more fun.”

“Sweet Life: Los Angeles” season two premieres with four new episodes August 4 on HBO Max.

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